Here’s the thing about awards, awards shows, and awards organizations.  The best nominee doesn’t always win.  Hell, the “best” nominee rarely ever wins because, in spite of what people tell you or what camp you happen to fall into, the vast majority of people base their votes on friendships, familiarity, popularity,  ideas, or messages.  Those who do vote for “the best” tend to select from a fairly narrow range of possibilities – based on friendships, familiarity, popularity, ideas, or messages.  It’s somewhat bewildering, occasionally downright frustrating, to see awards go to certain works while other equally great (occasionally better) works go ignored, often not even making a preliminary list of nominees.

As a fairly voracious reader, I read a lot of books in 2015, many of them award nominees, just as many lesser-known works from lesser-known (to me) authors.  And, as I began to check out the 2016 releases, I looked back at the titles I enjoyed in 2015 and thought: “That deserved some sort of recognition.”.  And then: “Hell, I should just give out my own awards.”

I read a lot across a wide variety of genres.  I can make a well-informed decision.  I know what I like.  And, most importantly, I AM opinionated.  So, why the hell not?

At first, I thought I’d call my awards The Jovians (Get it?) but discovered the Jovian Awards (for Fantasy & Science Fiction) already exists.  My second choice would be the Saturn Awards but, alas, that too has been taken.  A quick google search turned up –

Mercury Awards – for music
Venus Awards – for local working women in business
Mars Awards – for designers (named after the chocolate bar, not the planet)
Neptune Awards – for marketing
Pluto Awards – for SciFi, fantasy and alternate history books
Kepler Awards – for European young scientists
Uranus Awards – surprisingly available!

In the end, I settled on something a little more in keeping with the wayward, independent spirit of these awards: Rogue Star (“a star that has escaped the gravitational pull of its home galaxy and is moving independently in or towards the intergalactic void” [wikipedia]).

Presenting awards in three categories (only because I didn’t read enough potential entries in any of the alternate categories.  Also, I need to get out there and watch more movies.).  Great reads all.  Check them out!

***

BEST GRAPHIC NOVEL

NOMINEES

Bitch Planet, vol. 1 – Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro, Image
Divinity – Matt Kindt and Trevor Hairsine, Valiant
Jupiter’s Circle, vol. 1 – Mark Millar and Frank Quitely, Image
Saga, vol. 5 – Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples, Image
The Walking Dead,vol. 23 Robert Kirkman and Stefano Guadiano, Image

WINNER

Saga, vol. 5 – Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples, Image

***

BEST SHORT STORY

NOMINEES

“A Murmuration” – Alastair Reynolds, Interzone
“Calved” – Sam J. Miller, Asimov’s
“Re: re: Microwave in the break room doing weird things to fabric of spacetime” – Charles Yu, Terraform
“So Much Cooking” – Naomi Kritzer, Clarkesworld
“Today I Am Paul” – Martin L. Shoemaker, Clarkesworld

WINNER

“Today I Am Paul” – Martin L. Shoemaker, Clarkesworld

***

BEST NOVEL

NOMINEES

Beyond Redemption – Michael R. Fletcher, Harper Voyager
The Flicker Men – Ted Kosmatka, Henry Holt and Co.
Half A War – Joe Abercrombie, Harper Voyager
Touch – Claire North, Orbit Books
The Traitor Baru Cormorant – Seth Dickinson, Tor

WINNER

Beyond Redemption – Michael R. Fletcher, Harper Voyager

***

Congratulations to the winners.  You can pick up your prize – in the form of a beer – should we ever cross paths!

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KathyC

Rogue Star sounds like a great title for a sci-fi series, grin

TheOtherOne
TheOtherOne

So pleased you chose ‘Today I am Paul’ to win the first Rogue Star’s Best Short Story award.

It was the story, out of all the short stories you recommended, that one made a deep impression on me and one I’ve suggested people read if they want to have any idea of how illogical Alzheimer’s is.

A brilliant choice! Nice one Joe.

TheOtherOne
TheOtherOne

Yep, KathyC, I agree.

Mike Fletcher

Paths must cross! Well, I’m out of beer.

bambamfans

Thanks Joe. Now I have some time on my hands I’ll check them out. I’ve been having lovely chats with Michael Fletcher & Martin Shoemaker on Twitter. I let them know about the awards and promoted Dark Matter while I was at it.

Cheers, Chev

Martin L. Shoemaker
Martin L. Shoemaker

Thank you! Even though the only prize is a beer — and I don’t drink beer! — this matters to me. A lot. Metaphorically this story was my mother-in-law’s final year of life. Every reader who tells me what this story meant to them matters to me. They tell me that they get it. They understand. This story means a lot to me, and so do the readers who care about it.

So should we get a chance to meet… Does a root beer count?

Thanks!

BoltBait

The solution to this problem, obviously, is to start the Joe Mallozzi Awards. Set the record straight!

Dave Creek

I just got to meet Martin Shoemaker a week ago at the Nebula Awards — a great guy and a talented writer. I also had the honor of publishing one of his latest stories, “In Its Shadow,” in the new anthology TRAJECTORIES: http://amzn.to/1OTo3gH

He’s not just a rogue star, he’s a rising star!

Maggie L80
Maggie L80

Lots of reading material suggestions, greatly appreciated! How do find the time between imagining, writing, producing, editing, blogging, eating & sleeping?

dasndanger
dasndanger

I wanted to read Saga, but was trade-waiting. In the meantime I saw some of the issues, and decided it was way too graphic for me. I am a wuss. razz

Meanwhile, my latest haul: comment image

Viata este buna!

das

Duptiang
Duptiang

Well, at least I can say I read at least one of the nominees.

ceresis64

KathyC TheOtherOne
I too, agree Rogue Star does sound like a great title for a SF series 😉

Drea

Kalimera All! <3

@Mike Fletcher Congrats!
That Joe chose your work
over that of Abercrombie's
(one of his all time fav writers)
is a very big deal and a HUGE compliment indeed!

By the way: In regards to finding an artist for the BR sequel
Have you inquired ‏@PangeaWizard, Jon Hrubesch, yet?

He's highly inventive and proved of great assistance
to Joe via ship designs for Dark Matter's Season 2.

If you throw in some bacon & mozzarella poppers
with that grilled cheese and lint
you are offering as payment
he might?, maybe?, perhaps?, possibly?,
be inclined to help ya out. wink

https://www.google.com/search?q=jon+hrubesch&biw=1366&bih=643&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiHp5Wx5vLMAhXLXB4KHea2Du4QsAQIIg

shinyhula
shinyhula

Congratulation to the winners, I have awarded the winners their own meteors, they can retrieve them at the Ikea pick up window on Vega. Alastair Reynolds is the boss, even his short stories have cool titles.

sylvia
sylvia

Ditto – Congratulations to the selectees. Raising a virtual glass of beer or root beer (which I happen to love) to you all.
I love to read…but often need to be led by the nose to a good read.
So….THANKS JOE! Kindle purchases made and reading will commence.
Sorry I did pass on the graphic novel. with the exception of Dark Matter, I have not been able to get “back into these.” For me…I think that is a sign of old age.
sigh

Tam Dixon
Tam Dixon

I like Kathy C‘s suggestion of “Rogue Star”. Sounds cool!

I’ll check out some of the book winners on kindle and I hope you run into some of the winners.

Star_Climber (@Star_Climber)

Will certainly check them out. smile

Neil Clarke

Looks like we have very similar taste in short stories. I published two, including your winner, and reprinted four of the five in my year’s best anthology. Congrats to Martin and the other winners.

BTW, really enjoyed the first season of Dark Matter. Looking forward to season two!

PBMom

Congratulations to all Rogue Star Winners. And welcome Martin Shoemaker. Maybe with the ending of Dark Matter season 2 there may be a return of the Book Club and Mr. Shoemaker can be a guest in the Q&A?

Martin L. Shoemaker
Martin L. Shoemaker

Thank you! But this may be a good time for my standard disclaimer: Getting me to talk is easy, it’s getting me to shut up that’s the problem.

PBMom

I don’t think anybody who comments on this blog mind people who love to talk. smile

Martin L. Shoemaker
Martin L. Shoemaker

Apparently the Washington Science Fiction Association agrees with you. http://www.capclave.org/blog/?p=829